Why one of Australia’s most exclusive suburbs is accused of hypocrisy as locals whine about a plan to turn a sprawling mansion into an event venue
- Plans to open up a heritage-listed mansion for events sparked outrage among locals
- Swift’s mansion in Sydney’s eastern suburbs can host events on 41 days of the year
- Locals concerned that unwanted drunks will run amok in the posh suburbs of Darling Point
Plans to open a heritage-listed mansion for social events have sparked anger among locals who fear it will cause unwanted drunks to run amok in their posh suburb.
The historic Swifts mansion, in the exclusive suburb of Darling Point on Sydney Harbour, will soon be able to host weddings, balls, charity events and corporate events.
The house, which is currently owned by Shane Moran’s Masolage Holdings company, has two development applications that aim to host events on 41 days of the year.
Concerns have been raised that the mansion will be turned into a noisy party venue with strobe lighting, fireworks and loud music disrupting the tranquility of the suburb.
Plans to open a heritage-listed mansion for social events have sparked anger with locals who fear it will lead to unwanted drunks running wild in their posh suburb
The historic Swifts mansion in Darling Point, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, will soon be hosting weddings, balls, charity events and corporate events.
The complaints come despite the fact that Swift’s mansion has hosted regular social events since the property was built in 1882.
The mansion originally belonged to the Tooth family, who held balls and parties in the dining room, ballroom and outdoor gardens.
It was later sold to the Moran family in 1997 before the family business Masolage Holdings took new ownership in 2012.
The mansion hosted an ‘Underbelly Razor’ themed dinner in 2011 and a Wolper Jewish Hospital fundraiser in 2021.
Charlotte Feldman, president of the local group Darling Point Society, said past events had already caused many problems for residents.
“I’ve received complaints from residents accusing drunken guests of being sick and peeing on their vehicles and sometimes kicking them when they leave the party,” she said. Sydney Morning Herald.
Traffic congestion was another complaint, with few homes having parking facilities, forcing residents to park their vehicles on the street.
Ms Feldman said more parties would lead to more guests parking their cars on the street and cause frustration among locals.
She demanded that the number of events allowed be reduced and suggested the kinds of events that could be held at the mansion instead.
“I think there should be more popular events at the mansion, such as house tours, art shows, day fairs and the like,” she said.
The complaints come despite the fact that Swift’s mansion has hosted regular social events since the property was built in 1882
The mansion was the setting for an ‘Underbelly Razor’ themed dinner in 2011 and a fundraiser for Wolper Jewish Hospital in 2021
Woollahra councilor Mark Silcocks said he had received calls from many residents complaining about the proposal.
“It goes from a local resident who uses his property for whatever he wants within the law — akin to someone renting out their house occasionally for a movie shoot — to an ongoing commercial operation in the middle of a residential area,” he said.
The planning documents state that the traffic congestion could be alleviated if guests are encouraged to use public transport or take a taxi to the site.
According to the documents, indoor events would be held until 11 p.m. and outdoor parties at 10 p.m.
“The number and type of events proposed under this DA is in line with the type of events traditionally held in Swifts,” the documents state.